George Springer Is Starting To Turn Things Around for the Blue Jays

Don’t look now, but George Springer might be starting to turn his season around.

Blue Jays
TORONTO, ON - MAY 21: Bo Bichette #11 of the Toronto Blue Jays hugs George Springer #4 in the dugout as they celebrate Bichettes two-run home run in the seventh inning of their MLB game against the Cincinnati Reds at Rogers Centre on May 21, 2022 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)

The Toronto Blue Jays are in the midst of a disappointing season. They sit in the basement of the AL East with one of the worst bullpens in the league, while their bats have struggled to find any consistency. It’s testing the patience of even the most diehard Blue Jays fans.

One of the biggest driving forces behind Toronto’s poor record is key players struggling to meet expectations, most notably right fielder George Springer.

The Blue Jays’ highest-paid player got off to a horrid start right out of the gate and continued to underwhelm into mid-June, ranking as one of the worst regular bats in any lineup across Major League Baseball.

Through June 16, Springer and his .579 OPS ranked third-worst amongst all qualified batters, with the Connecticut product boasting a .196/.290/.289 slash line with five home runs, 31 RBIs, and a 71 wRC+ in 64 games played.

Ad – content continues below

Springer posted a .218 BABIP during that stretch and was becoming visibly frustrated at the plate, evidenced by his negative batting run value and low average exit velocity (per Baseball Savant), neither of which he could blame on bad luck alone.

While his defensive performance in right field didn’t waver and he continued to make outstanding plays with his glove, Springer’s bat was a major cause for concern. Eventually, manager John Schneider moved the veteran bat out of his normal leadoff spot to try and drum up some offense.

While chatter about how the Blue Jays might be able to unload Springer’s contract amidst a rough season started to pick up steam, an outing on June 25 in Boston became the moment in which Springer said ‘enough is enough.’ Finally, he started to look like the force at the plate that the fanbase has been waiting to see for most of the season.

Since that evening, Springer has emerged a new man in the batter’s box, authoring a .452 average with two doubles and four home runs.

He has accounted for seven of the Jays’ runs scored during that time and has also added 13 RBIs, nearly doubling his RBI total on the year. Through 10 games, Springer has upped his average by 28 points (from .188 to .216) and raised his OPS by 93 points. It now sits at .652, up from .559 on June 24.

Since that night in Boston, Springer ranks second in wRC+ (296) and OBP (.528) and third in slugging percentage (.903) and OPS (1.431). He has put up 1.0 fWAR, lifting himself out of the negative territory he was in before the Red Sox series.

Ad – content continues below

Springer is currently riding an eight-game on-base streak and has a hit in seven of those contests; he went 0-for-2 on Tuesday with two walks.

The right-handed batter has four multi-hit games since June 25, including a pair of three-hit games. He has been a major catalyst in the Blue Jays lineup, although the team continues to struggle. (Their recent poor performance has more to do with the pitching staff.)

Springer has even returned to the leadoff spot, a positive move for a team looking to put runners on base ahead of bats like Spencer Horwitz and Vladimir Guerrero Jr., both of whom are also finding success at the plate right now.

While the sample size is small and Springer’s recent output likely is not sustainable throughout the rest of the season, it is a step in the right direction and a good sign for a Blue Jays squad looking for any signs of life on the roster.

The organization is nearing a crossroads, and they will soon have to decide if they are going to be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline. As they continue to lose, the likelihood of the Blue Jays trading players away gains steam with each passing day.

Springer and his hot bat might not change the Blue Jays’ fate come the trade deadline, but his recent performance is a positive sign for a player who has struggled to meet expectations for most of the season. Hopefully, Springer continues to trend in the right direction for the rest of the campaign.

Ad – content continues below